Cybersecurity has been a growing problem for universities across the country and Columbia is no exception. Last year, the university suffered a ransomware attack, multiple fishing message incidents with fake job offers and bombings with Zoom, when an uninvited person interrupts a Zoom class.
On May 17, the college implemented Duo, a two-factor authentication system to strengthen Columbia’s cybersecurity.
Although cybersecurity experts have approved multiple authentication programs like Duo, some students have expressed their irritation with the program.
“I was upset about it, I still have to confirm it with drive [notification] or the password [and] the password changes every time, “said Chante Tucker, a junior photography specialist.” Maybe they should go back to the previous form or for added security, we can create our own password. “
Duo is used to log in to Canvas, Office365, and the student portal using a smart device at the touch of a button or using code. Students who do not have smart devices can request a Duo token that generates a code for them.
On its website, Duo identifies the identification of two factors as “the simplest and most effective way to make sure users are really who they say they are.”
Adam Everspaugh, a cryptographer at Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, said using Duo is the easiest way to solve common security issues, such as incorrect passwords and site breaches. Everspaugh said the use of Duo on Coinbase helps protect $ 200 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
“[Duo] it’s probably the most important thing a technology department can do to improve security, ”Everspaugh said.“ Anyone who has selected Duo at Columbia College will probably do the most important thing. [they] can improve cybersecurity “.
But Gabrielle Pelayo, a second-year creative student and lead performer, worries about sharing her personal information with Duo and wonders how students will access their accounts if the app fails.
“[Duo] it’s quick and easy, but I don’t mean to say it’s unnecessary, but it takes the seconds you could use to work. Just grabbing another device is not really efficient, ”Pelayo said.
Kathie Koch, associate vice president and head of information, said multifactor authentication programs like Duo are common practices in everyday life. He also suggests that students who are distracted by their phones use other devices such as smart watches.
“To protect our identities and protect our data in college, we decided to move toward multifactor authentication,” Koch said. “It’s really for the protection of our users, to protect their data.”
In June 2020, the Chronicle reported that a group of hackers known as NetWalker had headed to Columbia along with Michigan State University and the University of California, San Francisco. With great caution, the college advised members of the campus community to “monitor their financial accounts and other sensitive information.”
Duo Mobile has a two-star rating in Apple’s App Store. Reading the corresponding reviews written by students from other schools that use Duo worried Estefany Turcios, a great elderly film, when downloading it, with many detailed negative experiences that contribute to the decline qualification.
Koch suggested that students read the Frequently Asked Questions about Duo or email email@example.com with specific questions.
“It’s very important that we protect ourselves,” Koch said. “Duo is helping college users protect themselves from anyone trying to catch fishing or anyone trying to steal their information or enter their email.”